Confessions Of A Former Heroin Dealer

February 17, 2016 | 2 Comments » | Topics: Interesting

What drug did you sell?

Heroin. Well, it started off years earlier with ecstasy then I moved to cocaine then prescription pills and finally to heroin. I was chasing the biggest profits. When I was selling ecstasy it was because that was my favorite drug and I wanted a little bit of extra money to compliment my regular job. By the time I was selling dope and prescription pills, I had a whole organization and this was my full time job.

What quality/type of heroin did you end up selling?

The highest quality black tar heroin. The connect was so low level that we had to warn people when switching over from another dealer. I know everybody says that but we had a lot of close calls. It was dark almost black but a drier charcoal like that would crumble and turned into dark brown tar when handled or breathed on.

What is the profit margin on heroin?

On pills, a 30mg oxycodone instant release sells for about $15 where I live and I gave my pharmacist $5/each. Dilaudid 8mg sold for a similar $15 or sometimes 10 for $120 and I gave my pharmacist $4 each for those. High quality dope sells for anywhere from $120-150/g (or $30-40 for .2) in my location and my first connect was for $80/g – though as I moved up and got introduced to higher level people, that price dropped to $40/g (and remember my market was $30-40 for a .2) and my prices stayed similar. Dope and pills are where the money is. Margins aren’t bad on coke and such ($25/g wholesale and $50/g retail) but dope fiends have to come back every day. They don’t feel like they have a choice in the matter.

How does the process work? do you buy drugs from some larger organization then move them to your "market" or did you manufacture as well? How does one make the connections and go about buying large sums of heroin etc?

A combination of good luck and just networking. It’s not easy for a white guy in this particular field. The Mexicans control the heroin trade where I live and they don’t trust white guys. My first connect for dope was one that sought out because I couldn’t get enough pills to keep up with demand. It was a white guy who had gained the trust of a Mexican woman and was basically middle-manning it for me. He got arrested and they realized that I was the one moving most of his product. They approached me and I got my first Mexican connect. After my first arrest, they realized I could hold my mud (not tell dirt on everyone) and my connect’s boss approached me and that’s how I got down to near Mexican level prices ($35-40/gram) because normally even the white guys who can buy from Mexican suppliers don’t pay the same as Mexicans. So, yeah, luck, balls, and willingness to protect your own I guess.

How do the drugs and money change hands? Do you shop up at Mr. Mexicans door with a wallet full of hundreds and place a box full of drugs in your trunk? Or by the end did you even touch the product directly?

At the beginning, I went personally to all deals and I stuck ounces of heroin in my butt cheeks. They were wrapped repeatedly. Don’t worry. But yeah, by the end, I very rarely touched the dope. I had runners and a partner I trusted to meet the connect. I was almost mostly selling to smaller dealers who use to be my customers. I did very few individual sales, even through my partner in the end. He had made a spot within the fuse box in the engine bay of his car so at some point he would stop shortly after leaving the connects house at a gas station and moved the what was now a quarter pound per reup from on his person to this spot attached to the fusebox and he would drive with it under the hood until he got home. We’d move it into the apartment nonchalantly at some point and chop it up for sale.

Every dealer I have ever known has hid the reup under his hood. The police are on to this, right?

The biggest assumption is that you are being pulled over because they know what you are doing. Usually its just a regular traffic stop. Two, you carry in your ass until you get away from the connect to make sure nobody was waiting right away. And lastly, we had created a compartment underneath the traditional spots. But in the end if they know what you are doing, the dogs will find it. It’s to prevent accidental discoveries. I’ve also swallowed 12 grams of dope once following a certain nudie massage.

What percent was cut? What did you use to cut?

I did not cut my product at all. Because I was getting it from a very low level dealer, I suspect it was cut very little before I got it either. I took over the market on the basis of quality – and to top it off quality at a lower price because of how far down the ladder I had went to get it.

Wouldn’t that be up the ladder? Generally you climb the corporate ladder…in this case it seems like you sorta climbed the cartel ladder.

Sorry you do climb the ladder but generally the closer to the source it is, it’s called a low level connect.

How did people find you?

I built up a pretty large clientele through other drugs first. Some of them made the switch. The biggest of those were my pill clients. Almost 100% of them made the switch to heroin. If you go to any college campus, the pill clients are not hard to find. In addition, my supply was Mexican and many other Mexicans started picking up from me because it was simple and the traditional Mexican suppliers require much larger up front purchases than the average dope fiend can handle. So my clientele was all over the place. The two major groups were well-to-do college students and poor Mexicans.

How did you do deals? In your own home, on the street, at the buyers location of choice? Cell phone or face to face to initiate a deal?

We had a dope spot initially where people could come to the apartment. After it got hot, we switched to delivery only and a couple things like dummy cars and other shit. Burner cell phone changed every two weeks to avoid wiretaps – though I don’t know how likely they were as there were no recorded conversations at our court discovery that I knew about. Maybe that’s because of the precautions. Maybe it’s because its more difficult than I know.

What’s the most amount of cash you have made in a week?

I averaged about $25,000/month by the end and we came up from about $100/day when we first started selling ecstasy.

How did you handle that kind of money (25k/month)? You can’t just walk into a bank and deposit that.

We spent it as fast as we made it many cases, I reinvested a lot of it into other ventures and more drugs, I did deposit some of it, I paid tuition and rent for me and my girlfriend, I bought a car, bought a second car just for work, lots of things like vacations and nice clothes. But basically we just went through it. A lot got seized at the end in product and cash. I made off with a little bit and have been living off it and watching it dwindle. Maybe that’s why I started these memoirs. It’s just another hustle.

Were you smart enough to take some of that money and bury it somewhere? Please god say yes, my brain would hurt if you didn’t set up a nest egg that no one but you knows about.

I got away with some money. Alot was spent. Alot was seized. That money is slowly dwindling but is paying for mine and my girlfriends tuition. She has stuck by me through this whole thing and she’s the love of my life.

I always wondered how people who made a lot of money selling drugs managed to push so much product. Do you have several hundred clients, or sell to a few dealers who would sell to others? I suppose for heroin you would just need a number of daily users, but what about the rest?

I had probably 20-30 clients. When people hear that number it is always smaller than they expect. But with dope they are daily clients. Also it is deceiving because I force those people to pick up for their friends that I don’t want to meet and some of them are dealers and resellers. As far as the rest, even 20-30 is decent because of the profit margins but you do need more the less you force them to resell for their friends or the less dealers you have working for you making their own customers. My five or six dealers I had on my team all had their own clients so a sale is a sale is a sale.

Did you carry a firearm? If so, ever use it?

I did not carry a firearm. I did keep a combat knife of sorts around the house after an incident I talked about before where some rival Mexicans ran up in my house while my girlfriend was present.

Did your Mexican associates offer you protection? OR did your Mexican associates put you in uncomfortable situations, or were they professional and businesslike?

After that incident, my connect provided me with a guy for muscle and this was probably the point where I started doing more Mexican sales because the enforcer wanted in on sales as well. The Mexicans I worked for were always very businesslike. My primary connect at the end couldn’t have been any older than me and was very clean cut with a nice home and a BMW 7 Series. That muscle guy is in jail now as part of the raids in October but I am close with his family and I stay with them when visiting.

So as you can see they were very businesslike (the La Eme associates anyways) but there is a certain amount of drama that happened just because of the association. Taxes to the local Eme boss, rival gangs who don’t listen to directives, etc. My connect was Mexican Mafia (La Eme) but I was white. I wasnt required to pay taxes. But I lived on the westside and the westsiders worked with and protected me but the eastsiders ignored the Mafia and caused me drama all the time. Either they claimed I owed taxes or they just thought they could take advantage of the soft white boy.

There was one incident where I was ran up on at knife point. I talk about it in a few locations around this topic. I didn’t ever own a firearm. I was probably unwilling to fire it and that it is just a bad combo. I did eventually keep a knife around and this Mexican guy who was originally sent to me after the incident ended up living with me permanently and I became close to him and his family. He was actually half mexican/half white but all westsider and he grew up with only the Mexican side of his family because the father abandoned them.

Did you find that most of the time you were stressed, experiencing sleepless nights, etc.

It came and went. Certainly the best times I had were vacations with my girlfriend and when I learned to delegate and trust my partner more.

What do you think about the people you sold too?

They represented a very wide spectrum of people. Some were dope fiend thieves, many were college students or poor Mexicans. Some had trust funds and college funds, others stole from their girlfriends. I had this one group – four of them all from the same company who came to my house on their lunch breaks and fixed or got well. Some came back after work too. They were respectable business people at a legit tech company. It was funny, they kept it from each other for a while. Even their manager. Then eventually they all found out about each other.

Did you ever use the drugs?

I’d like to say that I never used the drugs. That’s the cool thing to do in movies and rap music, right? Never get high on your own supply. But the truth is that I suffered from pretty severe heroin withdrawal when I quit selling and using. It’s too easy to pass the time by using when you are bored and have reached a certain point.

How did you manage to get through college while on heroin? In the period you were a user yourself, did you use a lot?

It’s not nearly as debilitating as everyone expects. And after a while, a regular or small amount just gets you normal. I feel more active and talkative after getting high. The early user nod out or dick in the dirt moments stop happening as frequently or you just know yourself and do a "get well" dose and then get loaded after class.

Did you have any other big scares before you got arrested?

Ammusingly the first time I got arrested in April, I was accepting a nudie massage for a small bit of dope while waiting to reup. Long story. Lol. After that incident, there were a lot of close calls and it became a bit of a game of cat and mouse. I only got charged with possession and drug paraphernalia the first time and we thought we were staying one step ahead of them. I had some close calls with being followed, stopped and questioning, and in general the lead detective just wouldn’t leave me alone. What we didn’t know for a while though was that they had a snitch and this was a long-haul investigation. I also became increasingly paranoid during this time.

How did you end up getting arrested?

My pill supplier was a pharmacy manager who used an insurance scheme to make pills disappear from the pharmacy. They were investigating him and the first time I got arrested, I got caught up in that whole investigation. I was getting a nudie massage when the police showed up and I was arrested for possession and paraphernalia. I ultimately kept going because those charges were expunged but by then, people were talking and they had a snitch who said I was selling everything. A larger investigation was launched and ultimately my organization came down in a series of raids and the case was mostly made by snitches aka informants.

Did you roll on your supplier?

As far as this investigation went, I was the top of the supply chain. Only myself and one other person knew the supplier and neither of us rolled. We tipped off everyone involved. We are in tighter now than ever and have access to bigger things even but we both chose to stay away.

What did you ultimately get charged with?

My pill supplier was a pharmacy manager who used an insurance scheme to make pills disappear from the pharmacy. They were investigating him and the first time I got arrested in April, I got caught up in that whole investigation. I was getting a nudie massage when the police showed up and I was arrested for possession and paraphernalia. I ultimately kept going because those charges were expunged but by then, people were talking and they had a snitch who said I was selling everything. A larger investigation was launched and ultimately my organization came down in a series of raids in October and the case was mostly made by snitches aka informants. There was very little physical evidence and my partner and I both copped pleas to lesser charges (originally trafficking, intent to sell, etc.) and drug rehabilitation (we were selling to support our habit allegedly) and this allowed us both to get probation and NA meetings rather than jail time because we had no priors. I assume they didn’t want to test their snitches on the stand. I don’t know. Some states are just very lenient with drug offenders. Especially those with no priors who are doing other things in their lives. I was very depressed and assumed because of the first time around, they were not going to accept the plea deal but they did. Three years felony probation and 6 months of NA meetings. They also took almost every dime I had so I am broke as well. So it wasn’t a complete wash for them.

How the hell did you get away with three years of probation and drug rehab?

When I got arrested, I had a fraction of this. Their case was built on informants that they did not want to take the stand. I explained this. I also explained that however my former partner got caught with a quarter pound of the dope and he got more serious charges including trafficking across county lines but even he got the same type of deal and reduction with expunge. Some states are more lenient than others. Especially when you have other things going on in and life and rehabilitation and re-entry to the normal world is expected rather than the exception. I was a student, good gpa, did charity work, and sending me to prison would have just made me a career criminal. At the end of my probation, I was eligible for a drug rehab program and the record is to be expunged. Same is true of my former partner.

Do you think all or certain drugs should be legalized?

All of them. Both of my brothers are dope fiends and I cry sometimes thinking about the trouble they’ve been in and the time in jail they’ve spent because we treat this as a criminal problem rather than the health problem that it is. This is coming from somebody who has seen both sides of the fence.

So what are your opinions on The Wire?

It is probably the only realistic portrayal of drug dealing I have seen. It’s fantastic. The college scene works a bit differently but that is how it was around the cities I grew up in.

How was the college scene different?

You don’t really have corner boys. It all works through a series of referrals and friends of friends. I only had 20-30 direct clients but I forced them to pick up from their friends. Only if a friend of theirs became a very regular and good business customer would I sometimes meet them and take on a new customer.

 Do you have any regrets about how you ran your business?

Yeah, there were things we could have done. People I had gut feelings about that I should have followed. Never ran a dope spot and ran delivery games from the beginning. My best friend protecting me is a sore spot too since he got the more serious charges (but still gets to expunge them later) and a few other things. But overall I don’t regret the experience.

If could go back in time and you had the knowledge now of the investigation that was being carried out on you and the snitch and you could completely avoid being caught as you were. Would you still go ahead with it or completely avoid the scene?

If I could avoid being caught, yeah. Like I said, I don’t regret the experience. I regret the peoples lives who were destroyed. I regret certain decisions but not the experience as a whole. I did things I would have never got to do traditionally within my socio-economic status.

Did you ever get depressed when you stopped selling and all the highs that in itself brought?

I talked about this in one of my NA meetings. It was miserable not being THAT guy anymore. Not being a boss. Not being recognized. Not skipping the lines at the night club or being able to do or buy what I wanted. I felt so alive selling drugs. I know that sounds bad but its true.